The Salt Lake Bees had been looking for a new outfielder who could fill in for the injured Terry Evans since the Triple-A All-Star was placed on the disabled list on May 21 with a right shoulder injury.
It looks like they found their man in, of all places, New Jersey. He was playing for an independent team in Camden named the Riversharks.
Chris Walker was signed Tuesday by the parent Los Angeles Angels organization to bolster the lineup of the depleted Bees. Walker, a speedy, switch-hitter has already made his mark by helping Salt Lake win back-to-back games during his first two outings with his new team. Walker had a pair of hits and drove in three runs to lead the Bees to a come-from-behind 7-4 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Thursday night at Franklin Covey Field.
"I'm just happy the Angels gave me a chance to play for their organization," said Walker, a small in stature (5-8, 170 pound) Georgia native. "And I just want to win."
Winning is something the Bees have done plenty of this season. They improved to a Pacific Coast League-best 34-17 on Thursday. But Salt Lake has had a rougher time of it lately, thanks in large part to call-ups and injuries. The Bees went 23-2 in April, but are just 11-15 in May.
But they are 2-0 with Walker in the lineup.
Salt Lake trailed 4-0 before Walker put the Bees on the scoreboard with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning. Then, with the score knotted 4-4 in the sixth, Walker drove the ball to deep right-center with two runners on base. Two runs scored and Walker slid safely into third with a triple.
"I thought it would be three right out of the box," the 27-year-old Walker said of his triple.
"The triple by Walker was huge," said Bees manager Bobby Mitchell.
Mitchell said adding Walker to the lineup has "filled the bill" because the Bees needed another strong defensive outfielder with speed. Since Evans' injury, Bees centerfielder Brad Coon had been unable to take a night off. Walker can play all over in the outfield and will be able to spell Coon on occasion.Bees starter Nick Green went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs with seven strikeouts. For the second night in a row, the Bees bullpen came in and kept the Sky Sox scoreless. Matt Wilhite earned the victory, his second of the year, while Jason Bulger picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
BEELINES: Bees third baseman Matt Brown hit a solo home run to lead off the sixth inning to get the ball rolling on Salt Lake's six-run frame. Brown now has a team-high 12 homers for the season ... The Bees and the Sky Sox will play their series finale tonight with RHP Shane Loux (6-3, 4.43 ERA) scheduled to start against Colorado Springs lefty Glendon Rusch (0-0, 0.82 ERA). Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. ... The majority of the Bees remaining home games will begin at 7 p.m., a half-hour later than they have been during the first two months of the season ... Attendance at Thursday's game was 5,442.